In spite of the boy’s poor choices, God does not see son number two as an embarrassment. The father never asks for an apology and is never seen to be hurt or angry. It’s not a strict one-to-1. The tax collector is exactly in the position of the prodigal son who was lost and needed to be restored to his family. But in the parable neither man ransoms his life and escapes death. It indicates that the younger son wants what belongs to the father — “your estate” — and wants it before the father dies, when ownership is normally transferred. We forget and deny by our indifference the intention behind the gifts, which is his love for us. It is important for the son to do this. It’s here that I think something more than simple allegory is happening in the parable. In the same way, we confess our sins not for the benefit of God or to turn away his disgust of us, or to earn his forgiveness. In reply to I’m quite convinced Deuter 30 by Travis Finley. I read The Tale of Two Sons by John MacArthur some time ago, and found his argument that Jesus portrays himself as the father in the story convincing. In Deuteronomy 30 God drives Israel into exile, Israel repents, and God gathers the outcasts from the ends of the earth. the servants probably did not wear sandals).) Now he is ready to learn the lesson. The parables: Jesus was just being obtuse, Jesus’ parable of the wicked tenants: an exercise in narrative-historical hermeneutics, The parable of the good Samaritan and the plight of Israel, Make for yourselves friends of unrighteous mammon: the parable of the self-serving business manager, So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you: the parable of the unforgiving slave, The parable of the wedding feast and the man without a wedding garment, Discipleship and ethics in the New Testament church, How beautiful on the mountains were the feet of Jesus. In the same way, our Father God never stops loving us. The father of the “Prodigal Son” represents God who gives his divine love and forgiveness. The motif of the relationship of children to father Abraham in Luke is found in the context of the recurring controversy with the Pharisees and other leaders of the Jews over who will share in the eschatological life of the people of God following judgment—who will sit down at table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the age to come. What The Prodigal Son’s Father Teaches Us About Love and Truth. It’s hard not to see this connection between the Lost sheep of the House of Israel and the Prodigal Son when Jesus says “Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.” [Luke 15:6] sounding very much like ” For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.” [Luke 15:24] especially given Micah’s comments in [Mic 2:12] “I shall surely assemble all of you, O Jacob; I shall gather the remnant of Israel; I shall set them together like sheep in a fold, like a flock in its pasture, a noisy multitude of men.”. These two errors are in a way similar to the two ways we can be guilty of presumption: that everything depends on God or that everything depends on me. As a matter of fact the discussion really clouds the issue. The father in the story is meant to represent God, and the prodigal son is meant to represent a sinner (everyone). He’s his little boy and prays that he has an epiphany and returns home. It also highlights Ishmael in a very prominent Jewish manner that is expected to be noticed significantly. In the same way, Jesus stores up the gifts of grace and salvation individually for each of us upon his sacrificial death. The connection to Abraham is clear enough — God promised Abraham two things, a nation (Judah) and a company of nations (Joseph or the House of Israel) [Gen 35:11]. As does the parable of the labourers. Biblically at least, who the father is, and who the sons are is clear enough — but still subject to rejection. The older brother seems to have felt unappreciated because the father had never celebrated his faithfulness with even a less expensive animal, yet here he was extravagantly celebrating the return of his lost prodigal son. Too much might be read into this, I guess, but it fits the Abraham identification well. 1. "The Prodigal Son" is a sculpture in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, by George Grey Barnard that depicts the loving reunion of the father and son from the "Parable of the Prodigal Son." …the elder brother, who is not a representative of righteous Israel, but rather self-righteous Israel, from whom the kingdom was withheld. To introduce the concept of gift which is so important for our understanding of God and our relationship to him, I wish to offer a somewhat different interpretation of this parable. After a few days, the younger son collected all his belongings and set off to a distant country where he squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation. Why is the Catholic population decreasing in numbers? The rich man in Hades still appeals to his father Abraham. And in this, the son was right to express to his father what he was feeling and perhaps reveal to him the real rift in the family. It turns a three dimensional work of art into a rather flat two dimensional allegory. [i] Jesus shares the parable with his disciples, the Pharisees and others. He quarreled with his father that the younger son had messed up and yet the father had prepared for him the “fatted calf.” Because he considered himself better than the younger son, he could not share in the father… Some of you might want to take a look at James Jordan’s investigation 13 years ago. In the case of the Prodigal Son, the son had nothing to leave home with, so he desired to have his inheritance ahead of time, before his father died. There was no doubt that he cared for them. The most important lesson from the parable comes from what isn’t said. Ezekiel certainly had the same 2 groups in mind when he penned his reunification prophecy “Son of man, take a stick and write on it, “For Judah, and the people of Israel associated with him”; then take another stick and write on it, “For Joseph (the stick of Ephraim) and all the house of Israel associated with him.” And join them one to another into one stick, that they may become one in your hand. As ever, we have to take into account the probable immediate context, in terms of guessing the identities of those whom Jesus was addressing. Coming to his senses he thought, “How many of my father’s hired workers have more than enough food to eat, but here am I, dying from hunger. I believe there is more to the story. That might be true if you’re not a first century Jew or if you lack any sense of connection to the historical conditions under which the Christian movement was formed. When I read the story 2:49). By no means! Perhaps the father did not know which son was truly lost until this moment. The details of the story are adaptable of course. It is important to note that nothing is said about forgiveness, though it is often interpreted as a parable of divine forgiveness. 2. I’d have thought that the ‘father/son’ motif, especially in the life of Jesus, is as much, if not more, to do with divine privilege and messianic promise (from 2 Samuel 7 — v13, and Psalm 2 — v7 especially) than protection of the weak and vulnerable. This can help us to understand the true nature of confession. Since 1900. Norman, thanks for the comments and the links. Who do we find ourselves to be the Parable of the Prodigal Son told in the Gospel of St. Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32? Privacy. These Jewish religious leaders of the first century did not think it was appropriate for a godly person to interact in such ways with t… I have argued that this is a parable about the reversal of fortunes that will come about with the judgment and restoration of Israel. Older and younger contain more than a hint of the old (historic national Israel), and the new (the people whom Jesus was gathering around himself as the reconstituted people of God). Ironically, the son says “give me the share of your estate that should come to me,” which of course is a command for something owed, not a request for a gift. Parable of the Prodigal Son and Forgiving Father - Luke 15:3-32 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons (1). Hosea also saw the reunion Ezekiel saw “And the children of Judah and the children of Israel shall be gathered together, and they shall appoint for themselves one head.” [Hos 1:11]. 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